The Who, ‘Live at Shea Stadium 1982′: DVD Review
On Oct. 12 and 13, 1982, the Who performed a pair of shows at New York's Shea Stadium. The second night was filmed and now, 33 years later, it's making its debut in full on DVD.
Nineteen-eighty-two was a rough year for the Who. Though the band released the It's Hard album, which sailed into the U.S. Top 10 urged by the hits "Eminence Front" and "Athena," it was also the end of the road for the much-loved band. The tour was originally put in place to promote the new album, but it was announced that it would serve as their farewell. That, of course, would ultimately prove not to be the case, but it would be the last with drummer Kenney Jones and their last outing until a reunion in 1989.
Live at Shea Stadium 1982 captures the entire second night at Shea, and, truth be told, the years have been kind to the performance here. The whole Jones era has gotten a lot of slack, some deserved, over the decades, mostly due to the unanswered question of how could such a vibrant and exciting drummer in his days with the Small Faces and Faces become so stiff when behind the kit for the Who?
In viewing this new DVD -- even though Jones is, at times, frustrating -- the Who are still in fine form throughout. It should be noted that Jones had some mighty big shoes to fill, so any criticism on his playing needs that side note.
They deliver a long and varied set list, touching on various corners of their incredible catalog, including a healthy nod to both Tommy and Quadrophenia as well as all the hits. One interesting note is that you get to see and hear the band dish out rarely heard songs such as "Sister Disco" and John Enwistle's "The Quiet One." And even though he's not the powerhouse drummer the late Keith Moon was, Jones holds his own.
This was the band's fourth tour in as many years, and that non-stop carousel was wearing thin on the band, Pete Townshend in particular, who was coping with the stress by ingesting large amounts of drugs and alcohol. "I was the instigator. I was responsible for getting him back on the road after 1978," Roger Daltrey told Rolling Stone in 1982. "And after three tours of America, he was a bloody junkie. I felt responsible for that. It was really hard to live with, and I just don't want to think about it anymore. I mean, I think the world of that guy. I think enough of him to stop the Who."
Despite the behind the scenes turmoil, the band delivered a high energy set at Shea. Among the highlights are the one-two opening punch of "Substitute" and "I Can’t Explain," which finds Townshend reclaiming those signature power chords from the evening's opening act, the Clash. The unusual appearance of "Tattoo" from their 1967 masterpiece The Who Sell Out and the inclusion of "Naked Eye," a staple of early '70s Who shows, is a nice addition. A show closing trio of covers -- "I Saw Her Standing There," "Summertime Blues" and "Twist and Shout" also rattles the walls.
The Who 'Live at Shea Stadium 1982' Track Listing
"I Can’t Explain"
"The Quiet One"
"Behind Blue Eyes"
"The Punk and the Godfather"
"Cry If You Want"
"Who Are You"
"See Me, Feel Me"
"Love Reign O’er Me"
"Long Live Rock"
"Won’t Get Fooled Again"
"Young Man Blues"
"I Saw Her Standing There"
"Twist And Shout"
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